Slow-Paced ‘Mother’s Fight’ Makes Its Point


Well-intentioned but slack, tonight’s Lifetime drama “A Mother’s Fight for Justice” is based on a true story about a family’s painstaking struggle with a loved one’s accident and lengthy recovery.

Meredith Baxter plays Terry Stone, a righteous, vigilant woman who gets a late-night call regarding her 19-year-old son Andrew (Eric Lively), who, she learns, has been severely injured by a drunk driver. The spoiled, seemingly cavalier driver, the son of a privileged family with deep pockets, walks away without a scratch.

Nearly three years pass before Andrew gamely returns to a relatively normal life as a college student, and in that time, he endures pain, hardship and embarrassment while his middle-class family fights to stay afloat in a sea of unpaid bills, leading to a strained relationship between Terry and her husband (Alan Rosenberg) as well as the neglect of the family’s two younger children.


The bottom line: Someone must pay for her son’s suffering, and Terry knows precisely who it will be.

Baxter brings her usual pluck and intelligence to the role, but Lively is less interesting as Andrew, sympathetic as his character may be.

Writer-director Tom Rickman (“Tuesdays With Morrie”) generates credible conflict among the Stone family and their well-heeled antagonists, but he tests our patience with slow pacing.

In 1983, the TV movie “MADD: Mothers Against Drunk Drivers” dealt with similar material. Still, if this earnest production makes someone think twice about drinking and driving, it would be a worthwhile effort, regardless of flaws.


“A Mother’s Fight for Justice” will air tonight at 9 on Lifetime. The network has rated it TV-PG-L (may be unsuitable for young children, with special advisories for coarse language).